Editorial: Museum expansion is great for county

Published 9:27 am Friday, July 19, 2013

Area residents had the pleasure Sunday evening of being a part of the ribbon-cutting of the new Marion Ross exhibit at the Freeborn County Historical Museum.

The event not only gave people a chance to meet “Happy Days” actress Marion Ross, but it also gave them the opportunity to see the new addition to the museum that’s almost finished.

The two-story, 10,000-square-foot expansion has almost doubled the size of the building, bringing much-needed room for displays and artifacts that have been in storage.

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In addition to the Ross exhibit, the expansion features the Col. Albert Lea statue and Cap Emmons Auditorium seats taken from the old high school on Clark Street, military exhibits and a kids’ learning lab, among other features.

On the upper level there is also a full caterer’s kitchen and large meeting room that can be split into two smaller rooms, and on the lower level there will be a reception area, along with the museum’s library and archives.

With the changes in the new portion of the building, there will also be changes to the former museum. Those changes include more dolls and toys on display and a whole room dedicated to the museum’s train collection.

Area residents who want to be a part of the museum’s expansion could consider donating to its completion. About $245,000 out of the $1.7 million project still needs to be raised.

The museum expansion is sure to help residents have better access to the county’s past, which in turn can only help the county move toward a better future.